Winter Wedding Tips, Tricks & Inspiration

Choosing your wedding date is no joke! The pressure is on to secure the “perfect” venue on your desired date.  Good Luck.  Wedding Trends very each decade.  In the past spring dates in June were all the rage.  Our recent trends show Fall is the most popular wedding season.   As we gain traction into a new decade, I’m noticing the trend where More and more couples are moving to a winter wedding concept the reasons why:

Winter Dates may offer Better Rates:

Once you decide the winter wedding is your season, you may have a better chance at securing your dream venue.  Winter dates are no as desirable, and most venues offer discounts and deals in the off-season.  

Early Sunsets:

With the earlier winter sunsets, it leaves us light chasers with less available light to play with.  When choosing your winter wonderland, look inside; that’s where the party will be; in the event the weather is on the chilly side.  How accessible is this venue if the weather is in-climate?  How much natural light / ambient light will be available during the day and evening hours?  Can your photographer work in dark candlelight conditions?  Minor details when planning a winter event.

Bonus Decor:

There are a lot of venues that decorate their locations for the holidays. Depending on what date you choose, you may get to incorporate their decor into your winter wedding theme.  Holiday lights, garland and snowflake designs will embellish your winter wedding, the bonus:  you don’t have to shell out the cash to decorate! 

Wedding Flower Selection:

A winter wedding may come with a few trade-off’s in the flower department.  Flower varieties may not be available during the winter months, or may cost more to have shipped in.  Contact your local florist, they can help guide you through this planning step. 
Our Favorite local Florist:  Wildwood Flowers

Less Weather related worries:

While Mother Nature can throw a few curve balls anytime of the year, there are some factors that come into play during the winter months.  There is always a chance of snow in the forecast, but on the bright side; a winter wedding will not have the heat and humidity.  Another thought is your ceremony will most likely take place indoors; no need to stress about sudden changes to the ceremony location.  If you choose to have a winter ceremony outside, if it does snow; I’ll hold tight to that thought: there is something magical about standing inside a snow globe, wouldn’t you agree? 

There are perks and disadvantages to hosting a winter wedding. 

If you are not easily bothered by weather, and willing to think outside the box then picking that winter date may be a good fit for you.

About the Author
Rebecca is a Midwest based photographer; with Award winning images in Wedding Photography. She has 10+ years experience, hundreds of memories from each event, along with a few published articles in the photography field. She enjoys sharing insights with clients and fellow blog followers. As a photographer, her use of natural light and technical ease allows her to create memorable, unique and beautiful photo’s for all her clients.

Still feeling clueless?  We would love to help you along the way.  Don’t be shy, ask us a question.  

We would love to hear from you, drop us a message

13 + 9 =

Bridal Show Readiness

Bridal Show season is upon us.  What you must know before attending the show.


1} Register for the show early. 
Although it’s not required, but there are lots of perks to pre-registration.  From discounts, exclusives & special offers; Maybe you could win that all-inclusive honeymoon give-away?  The universe works in mysterious ways.

2} Bring Printed Labels
Be sure to include your wedding details & the best contact method / call / text / email —  {P.S. brides who do this, I already love you}

3} Eat a light lunch. 
There will be some amazing foods and variety of samples to satisfy any taste-buds. 

4} Bring your Tribe. 
Whether it’s your bridesmaids, or your mother & in-law. Do you.   Some of us need group approval, and others prefer to plan alone.  At the show, have the basic wedding details ready: Date & location. 

5}  Bring a list of questions to ask. 
Don’t rush from booth to booth just grabbing business cards & flyers.  You easily could’ve stayed home and found vendors on Google while watching Netflix of football playoffs.  

The point of the show is to get a feel for the personality of each professional you speak with.  The best of the best are there to help you.   Enjoy the process, ask questions and start building that all-star vendor dream team!

Ask us anything!

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Planning Your Engagement Session


The Engagement Session

This is the beginning of your story.   It doesn’t start at the wedding.  The engagement session is the prequel to the big wedding day.  It’s a time to capture moments that illustrate who you are individually and who you are together as a couple.  We have pulled together a few tips & tricks to navigating the engagement session.

When creating a story with visuals, it is important to set the scene.  Much like when reading a book, you need the beginning of the story to set the stage.  The engagement session is a great way to understand your photographers style & personality.  Plus it’s a great opportunity to get comfortable with a camera being directed at you.

Your engagement session IS important.



From the photographers perspective (my opinion): 
the engagement session is a stepping stone to understanding each client on a personal level.  We get to know what poses are the most flattering & will often re-create this on the wedding day.   Think of the engagement session as part of the wedding rehearsal.


What should you wear for engagement photo’s?

Dress like the best version of yourself.  Wear an outfit that you would wear on a date night.  If you prefer barefoot, choose jeans that are flattering.
Consider 2 outfits.  Casual and Dressy / playful.  *Bring one more outfit than you plan to wear, this will give a backup in case of a wardrobe malfunction.

Important tips:
*Dress to fit in your location
*Add contrast to your photos by wearing a “pop” of color.
*Bring an extra pair of walking shoes to put on between locations- save your feet from discomfort.

What to wear:
No, you do not have to match. Coordinating does not mean identical.


When should we schedule our session?

Are you using these images for Save-the-Dates?  (7-9 months prior to the wedding date)    Are you using this session to “test-drive” a photographer?  schedule ASAP.
maybe you found 2 photographers you like, but can’t decide.  We recommend hiring them both for the Engagement Session.  This will give you the chance to see how they work & if they are a right fit for you.

* schedule early – for peak season dates.

* You will end up with some stellar photo’s to remind you of this amazing time in your lives.

The Dirty Truth about the Engagement Session?

You’re about to take that leap of faith, into a new life with with your fiance.

You may be in the beginning stages of planning or in the thick of it all.  The last thing on your ever growing to-do list, is an engagement session. Perhaps you have no desires for photo’s because you are camera shy, or these photo’s are not important.   It’s my job to shed some light on the engagement session.  What’s the worst that could happen?  You end up with photo’s that you LOVE & cherish.  Someday you’ll talk about the good ole’ days & the obvious outcome:  “they lived happily ever after”

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.  Leave us a comment below.  
~Cheers – B


FREE download: Engagement Session Planning Guide


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Wedding Club Welcome ~ TellaStory Photography

Hi there, we are so glad you found us;  watch out, we could talk weddings stuff for days, there is so much information to cover.  This on-line guide is the first step to answering the easy questions. (we hope) 

First of all, Thank you for your interest in our services, it is our goal is to provide you with a stress-free photography experience.  From our first meeting to the delivery of your final selections, we deliver top notch products & service with a smile.  Sounds cliche’ right?  We are the average Joe Schmoe’s who know their wedding shit – better?   All kidding & sarcasm aside; planning a wedding is stressful enough, as creatives, we see a need, fill a need & do our best to keep the photography aspect easy & straightforward.  Please take a moment to read through this guide, there is some good stuff.  If you still have questions – there is space at the end to drop a message and we can talk shop.  ENJOY

Behind the Lens
Meet the photographers

Let’s Get Social!

it’s hard to be anti-social in a social media world. 
by golly, I’m still trying….

Hello & Hiya

I am B – the lady “behind” TSP.  Some may see me as Mom to many;  playing a set behind the cello strings.  While I wear multiple hats everyday because I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!?!  First thing to know about B {me}:   I’m a joker and lover of sarcasm.  I like to keep conversations light hearted & focus on the happy side of life. Don’t know what to say – no problem,  I’ve got a head full of “funny” movie lines +  dash of song & dance  I can provide a variety show on demand.  No, I am not an entertainer, more socially awkwardness perhaps a little quirky.

TellaStory Photography was my first artistic outlet.  Where I can view the world with my rose colored glasses on.  Images are created in love with my camera + lens & creative photography.
Documenting life is what I do best.  I find the little things that make us human, living an experiential life there is more than just a smile and look at the camera.  I see the beauty in movement, laughter & tears.  I see The connections between two people { a spark },  I watch the excitement in a seniors eye and feel it around the room.  These are the little things that I notice & watch for.  Capturing life as it unfolds like a storybook coming to life off the page.  It’s all those little things that make up the bigger things = important nuances & life worth living.  Memories fade.  A picture says 1000 words.   Need I say more? 

I cherish all the amazing years that have taught me about business, art & capturing candid photo’s.  I am humbled to think TSP – is so much more than photography it’s priceless to me. Welcome to the TSP family.

Thank you for supporting our small business.


Post Covid Update. (Oct 2022)
Life is kinda funny – the loopty loo’s that one takes to get into the space we are in currently.  “The NOW”    So much has changed in a short amount of time.  Our family has grown with the addition of a new baby + new fur baby.  TSP has evolved & grown with the addition of a wedding team.  (Kim & Trent)  are a dime a dozen & my dream photography team.  They are my eyes, capturing all the goodness.  I can’t seem to pull myself away from the Saturday commitment & continue to shoot weddings 90% of the time.  (Chris no longer photographs weddings with me – someones gotta manage the homefront while mom plays)
Covid taught me the art of slowing down, I dived into myself to figure out what’s next?
I love all things healing (trained reiki master) & growing my understanding in holistic medicines.  Tuning forks are my next adventure – I am in love with learning new things, passions & interest – Need a bio-field tune up?
Musically – Chris & I go on “hot dates” when we play music for a small crowd – or intimate group.  Either way music is our heartbeat that keeps us connected.  Check us out:
 Rusty Cello + Yellow Chair 
I may say outload I’m a starving artist (I’m a sarcastic joker like that)  – when reality, my cup overflows with creativity as my core & love on my sleeve.  YOLO

Our Pre-Covid Life
Becky aka: shutterbug + Chris aka: Chris
We are a team.  Together we are responsible for 5 kids, 2 cats and 1 giant puppy.
{Uftda, it’s exhausting some days}
Chris has a day job in IT.  Having computer troubles?  I know the perfect IT technician, He keeps our computers running seamlessly.  My full time job is photography followed by Mom-ing is that a word?  Plus various jobs that I acquire out of boredom or the famous “I can do it motto.”  Mom-tre-Prenuer style, yup.  I’m a go-getter.  Somehow all of this leads into a very beautifully hectic life.  I’m fortunate to have awesome clients that trust me with their long-term memories & thankful beyond measure that I get to do what I love & still love what I’m doing after all these years.

When Chris & I are not behind the lens, you may find us camping in remote places & dreaming of our next “escape”.  We love a good hike, or willing to settle for an evening walk around the block.  We prefer to take the long route home {back roads}  more often than not; finding some peace in the chaos.
During the winter months we can be found on the ski hill & staying warm in our living room playing music together. (Modern Day Partridge Family)  Music is the heartbeat of our family & our catch phrase:  “Get lost and find yourself.”

That’s us in a nutshell.  Pretty easy going, because life is too damn complicated for stress & worries. ~Hakunna Matata

Frequently Asked Questions
Q & A

Q: What Makes your work different from other photographers work?

A:  We are not your typical photographer.  We don’t just take pictures – we are there to help keep the day running smoothly (think of it as putting your wedding day on auto-pilot when you hire us)  With 15+ years experience & over 300 weddings photographed, we have seen it all & still find new “things” at each wedding.   There are times during the day where we try to keep certain settings relaxed; while we blend into the background capturing simple moments.   We are quick to spot moments & can create a scene on command.  Sometimes we are a part of something more intimate; other times there is a lot happening, non-stop action.   Every wedding is different & we adapt to accommodate each situation.  I think you “get the picture”

To capture those “pretty” pictures we use natural lighting as much as possible.  {I’ll admit, my super hero power is bending light}   We do have flash that can be set up, as needed.  We strive to keep the day fun & candid in front of the camera, that is when the best photo’s come about – un-posed & relaxed.  ~CHEERS to your new beginning!

Q: How many photographers will be there at our wedding?

A:  Most TSP Wedding Collections start with 1 photographer.   This allows us to build your package.  We have a team of trained 2nd photographers available to fill dates.  Once a wedding is confirmed,we finalize your photographer team.  

*PRO TIP: A second photographer brings a 2nd perspective from the day. 
For wedding parties larger than 12, we encourage a second shooter.  

Q: Will we get the print release to our photo's after our wedding?

A:  Yes.  Upon receiving your final flash-drive box + prints, you will receive a digital print release.

Q: How do we reserve our wedding date?

A:  A deposit of $800.00 secures your wedding date.  Once a date is reserved we will not book any other sessions / events. 

Once the DATE is saved & misc. items to mention:  
* Deposit will be applied to the open balance. 
* Ala’ carte ordering can be placed anytime   
* Packages may be modified anytime
* TSP offers Flexible Payment Plans,
* Final balance due 30 days prior to the event.
* Deposit is non-refundable // if canceled it may be turned into an open credit for future work (pending contracts) 

Q: Do we get every image taken from the wedding?

A:  trust me when I say, you do not want every image we take.  We shoot high {approx} 3,000 images are taken during the day.  We cull that down to 1/2 that number.  We spend hours editing and ensuring you receive a variety of images, from black & white to artistic shots; there will be plenty of images to tell your story.
On average we deliver 100 images per every hour we are on-site.  7 hours of coverage = 700 images.  Add a few more if there is a 2nd shoot.  ‘you get the picture’ 

Q: Will we get featured in a magazine or blog?

A:  Many of my weddings do get featured one way or another, it is not guaranteed.  Most publishers are interested in specific decor & designs.  If you want to get featured, let’s talk – I’ll help you prior to the wedding with details that will get the publishers attention!

Q: How long does it take to get our photos after the wedding

A: We like to run a tight ship.  Average lead times for wedding images: 
On-line highlight gallery is available 2 weeks after the wedding date.  These sneak peak images are a great way to see how the edits are coming along.  The remaining gallery + flash drive is delivered roughly 8-10 weeks after the wedding date. 

Q: Do we have to order prints through you?

A: My obvious answer: yes, print through TSP & we will provide an image guarantee.  It is not required to print through TSP.  but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t educate my clients in the difference & quality.  It’s huge, and you get what you pay for in your prints.  TSP is not responsible for color variations when choosing independent print companies.

Building Your Wedding Package

Decide how much of your day you would like documented.    How do you want to relive your wedding each time you view the photo’s? Do you prefer a story book format?   Do you prefer viewing in digital format?  Are you interested in hanging a large Print after the wedding?  The list of questions go on and on…… let’s start with the basics.  TSP weddings are delivered in a wood keepsake box + flash drive + prints + highlight gallery the rest is up to you to decide what fits your style & budget.

Kuddos for making it this far!  You’re almost done.

Are you one step closer to saying “YES” to your photographer ?

Let’s have coffee/ drinks/ dinner .  We can’t meet just yet, but we can still visit.  This is a no pressure consultation – where you walk me through the vision of your day while I help you create a tentative timeline.   We may ask a few more questions and come up with the best coverage while keeping your budget in mind.

Drop us a message with a few dates that work best
Hope to Chat Soon!! ~B


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What’s in the Bag ~ Bridal Care Kits


What’s in the bag?


It’s a wonderful thought to assume your wedding day will run smooth and perfect, the reality of life is that your special day may experience a few minor bumps along the way.  Wedding Day Survival Kits to the rescue, these handy kits can be DIY or purchased pre-packaged.  Read the labels carefully, as the Items may vary from kit to kit, depending on the type of emergency you are preparing for. 

We have pulled out our amazing House of Flynn bags in the off season so that you can take a sneak peak into our stockpile of goodness.  For the first time in forever here is a first hand experience of the oddities we’ve acquired over the years photographing weddings.

Wedding Day Emergency Supply Kit.  A photographers eclectic mix of goodies to save any wedding day!

Sewing Kit
3M Hooks
Hacky Sack
Dental Wax
Boob Tape
Safety Pins
Bobby Pins

Off Bug Repellant / Wipes & Spray
Shout Wipes / Pen
Bell – Ring for a kiss
Static Guard
Hair Spray
Wrinkle Release

Caution Tape
Green Blanket
Shower Curtain
Small Props
Window Chalk
Fanny Pack
Hanker Chief (Rainbow of Colors)


Lens Hoods
Off Camera Flash x3

Light Diffusers / Gels
Tripod / Mono Pod

There you have it
I can’t give away all my secrets, this is a sneak peak into my wedding bags / Wedding Day Survival Kit , for those “just in case” moments.    We pack up our bags the night before a wedding, and restocked after each event.  I like to compare my bags to Mary Poppins Magical Bags;  they are filled with just about anything you could need / want including the kitchen sink (wet wipes are similar, right?)!    The moral of the story; When you hire TellaStory Photography, we are not just a photographer, we are there to help keep your day moving as smooth as possible so you can relax and enjoy each and every moment.  Did I miss something?  We would love to hear from you, drop us a line & tell us what you think. 


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TellaStory Photography © All Rights Reserved
Located in the Midwest, Scenic Saint Croix River Valley. 
Servicing Local Communities in Hudson, WI, Eau Claire, WI, Duluth MN Saint Paul, MN & Minneapolis, MN 
Available for Travel & Destination Shoots.

715*497*3588     [email protected]

The Unknown Truth Behind the Wedding Cake Cutting Tradition

Wedding Cake Traditions



The breathtakingly beautiful wedding cake can be considered a centerpiece at any wedding. The cake may be given an important role on your wedding day. You may choose to place it in the corner until the cake cutting ceremony moment arrives, or you may decide to place your wedding cake at the center of your party.  No matter where you put your cake, your guest will be quick to find it.  This delectable sweet treat has made an appearance at most wedding receptions all around the globe. Various cultures and ethnicities have been adopting this trend for their big day for thousands of years. It makes one wonder how it all began. So just for you, we’re lining up the top traditions for cake cutting and the significance behind them.

The History Behind the Groom’s Cake

Historic weddings had separate cakes for the groom while today; Southern states may still continue this ancient old tradition. Modern weddings have altered the tradition in a manner that showcases the groom’s interests, taste as well as their adored sport’s team too.

Cutting that cake

Similar to the notion of tossing the bouquet and sharing the first dance, the cake cutting ceremony is an integral part of the wedding ceremony. Not only is this a memorable occasion for the bride and groom, but it’s also a splendid opportunity to capture a few fun moments. This act represents one of the first activities done together as a couple, while in the past; it was carried out by the bride herself, as a symbol of the loss of her virginity.

Feeding the Cake to Each Other

When the newlywed couple feeds each other the wedding cake, this activity is sheer romantic fantasy at its finest. The act symbolizes a beautiful commitment of showering love and affection upon one another while providing for each other till eternity.  We may have modernized this event into more of a cake smash type moment, one can hope our partners keep it clean.  Either way you get to have your cake and eat it too.

Tradition of Sleeping over a piece of Cake

Believe it or not, the tradition of sleeping over a a piece of wedding cake (cake under your pillow)  was an actual thing of the past. Almost 300 years ago, it was believed that by doing so, the person sleeping over the piece of cake will dream of their future partner over that night. Today, the tradition is modernized by sleeping over a wedding favor with the same intention.

Signs of Fertility

During the Roman Era, wedding guest would break mana or bread over the bride & grooms head as an offering of Fertility. This act was thought to bring good luck and lots babies early in their marriage.  Perhaps the modern day twist to this theme: During the cake cutting, When the Bride and Groom feed each other a bite of cake.  This can be done with good intentions, nice and neat or total cake smash in your face kinda day.  Beware of frosting up the nose, everything will smell sweet for rest of the night.

Wedding Cake Charms

The age old tradition of baking a wedding cake with charms hidden inside was a popular one of the past. Today, a more practical version exists where charms are baked into the cake, with ribbons attached to each one of them so guests can simply pull them out before devouring their dessert.

Saving that top tier

The top tier of wedding cakes is known to carry great significance for newlywed couples. In the past couples used to save the top tier to enjoy at the Christening ceremony of their first born child.  Christening ceremonies typically took place within the year of the wedding. Sharing a layer of the top tier serves as a reminder for couples of their special day. Just in case you’re wondering how a layer of cake could survive for a year,  as long as its kept in the freezer and doesn’t contain fresh fruits or mousse layers, it can last without too much damage.

I don’t know about you, but all this talk about cake has me craving some sweet treats!
There ya have it! We hope you enjoyed reading more about the history of the wedding cake.
Do you know of a few more Traditions, we would love to hear from you.


9 + 12 =

The TSP Guarantee

We guarantee you in writing to surpass the wedding photography industry standards when you sign the wedding contract.


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 We are dedicated to making your wedding photography ~ planning process easy & enjoyable from start to finish. We understand you want a unique and personal wedding, without a huge price tag and without the stress. We will deliver both confidence & peace of mind as your wedding photographer.

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A Journalistic Approach

From contemporary, to traditional; Our journalistic style will catch your most intimate moments as you begin your journey as husband and wife.


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Our experience has taught us that no two wedding are alike. Forget ‘packages’ — your wedding dreams aren’t the same as someone else’s. Rather than trying to fit you into a package, we design the package around you with the sole purpose of helping make your wedding dreams come true!


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About the Author
Rebecca is a Midwest based photographer; with Award winning images in Wedding Photography. She has 10+ years experience, hundreds of memories from each event, along with a few published articles in the photography field. She enjoys sharing insights with clients and fellow blog followers. As a photographer, her use of natural light and technical ease allows her to create memorable, unique and beautiful photo’s for all her clients.